Cruise: Simple tip means passengers can enjoy a longer ship experience for free

Cruise holidays are on the rise according to the latest data from ABTA. Along with that has come a whole host of new cruise ships boasting amazing amenities from spas and swimming pools to celebrity dining experiences and even on-deck rollercoasters. With so much to do onboard, as well as multiple destination stops along the way, passengers can often be left wishing for longer to explore the ship. One seasoned cruiser has offered an insight into how passengers can extend their ship time for free.


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The cruise enthusiast shared his tips to a Reddit forum, explaining how he utilised this hack when travelling on cruise holidays.

The traveller wrote: “I usually show up around 10:30am (well before check-in is supposed to start).

“I am usually checked in and on the ship by 11am. I feel like I get almost an extra day on board as a result.

“I’ve never had to wait to check-in at all doing this.”

Not only did the user point out that passengers can beat long check-in queues, he points out that early check-in allows for more intimate experiences using many onboard amenities, as well as plenty of time to make the most out of lunch.

“I use that time where I can’t get to my cabin to explore the ship,” he wrote.

“Even if most things are closed I can still walk around and get a feel for her.

“I usually board and immediately go to the buffet for lunch.

“After that, I walk around the ship till the cabins open the go dump my stuff.”

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Along with early boarding, there are plenty of other cruise hacks that have been shared with passengers hoping to make the most out of their holiday.

One cruise expert, who has amassed an impressive four years of cruise experience, revealed the hidden costs that sometimes come with life on board the ship.

In his book Best Cruise Tips: 303 Cruise Hacks Saving You Time, Money & Frustration, Randall Stewart explains how frequenting the shops onboard could customers far more than they bargained for.

He writes: “Shopping can be a lot of fun. However, the cruise lines make a significant portion of their profits from your onboard purchases and those you make in recommended shops.”


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It seems the deals advertised to guests on board might not be as good as they seem, or may have hidden price tags attached.

“Avoid purchasing big-ticket items,” Randall continues.

“They’re almost always less expensive back home by doing a little internet investigating.

“Keep in mind that you’ll need to pay U.S. Customs duties on expensive items you purchase.”

Meanwhile, even on an inclusive cruise, it seems some dinner time experiences could add another expense to the final bill.

Randall continues: “Your cruise ticket covers those meals offered in the main dining areas.”

“However, all cruise ships have speciality restaurants that require you to pay a modest fee.

“They provide exceptional value should you like to tantalise your taste buds. Some of the speciality restaurants can be very popular, so try to book your seating in advance.

“Otherwise, you may be disappointed when you’ve set your heart on a particular dining experience and find out they’re booked solid.”

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